Back Door Slam

Saturday, Sept. 15, Zilker park

ACL Music Fest Live Shots
Photo by Sandy Carson

Back Door Slam

"We're gonna play some blues kinda stuff for you," said teenage guitarist Davy Knowles as Back Door Slam kicked off a scorching Saturday afternoon set at ACL. Hailing from the Isle of Man, Knowles, bassist Adam Jones, and drummer Ross Doyle conjured up the blues-forged power trios of the classic rock era. Though Jones and Doyle never locked down like Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell (sound problems at the start didn't help), it didn't matter once Knowles set into his solos. In addition to a gee-whiz dexterity that coaxes fists skyward, Knowles is equally mindful of tone and flow. The kid can sing, too. His whiskey-and-cigarette growl on Blind Joe Reynolds/Cream's "Outside Woman Blues" landed somewhere between Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green and the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson. BDS closed with a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Red House" that left little doubt about Knowles' guitar-hero credentials. As graybeards in the audience nodded to each other in approval, a teenage girl exclaimed, "Oh my God, I love him!" You can't ask for better demographics than that.

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